Part 21 Starting a conversation with missionaries

I will finish my Mormonism series by talking about conversational tactics.  These strategies will be useful when speaking with Mormons or anyone else that doesn’t agree with Christianity.  The content I will share is simply good people skills, something too many Christians lack when discussing spiritual issues.  I hope the next few posts will be helpful in this area.

On Sept. 9, 2009, as I was finishing my yard work, I turned around and was greeted by two young men with ties and badges; obviously, Mormon missionaries.  They asked me if I was interested in an ongoing study.  I asked them if they would like to come into my house to talk and they said yes.  After offering water, I asked questions about where they were from and what they would do after their missionary commitment ended.

They asked me if I had any questions about their beliefs.  I told them I have strong religious beliefs but if they could show me I was wrong, I’d be willing to change.  I suggested they should be willing to do the same and they said they would.  I asked them about their beliefs concerning the Book of Mormon and the Bible; do you believe they are both revelations of God?  If there was a contradiction between them, which one would take precedent?  They said both books were Testaments from God and that according to their study and beliefs there were no contradictions.

My friend Dylan joined me on the next two visits.  The two of us made a strong case for the Bible contradicting the teachings of Mormonism.  After listening to our strong case against their beliefs, they again went back to their hearts and reemphasized their stories.  One of the elders got emotional telling how “god” works in his heart.  After pleasantries they left without the true Jesus.  Religious belief for them was of the heart and evidence was unnecessary.

I’d like to fast forward to June 12, 2010.  It was a Saturday morning and school was winding down.  One task I needed to work on was my four part series on Mormonism I would teach at church during the summer.  Around 10:30 am the doorbell rang.  Two young men with ties and white shirts were standing at my door.  I hadn’t been visited by missionaries for 9 months and the incredible timing of this event seemed to be more than a coincidence.  They asked me if I was Steve and I said yes.  They said they were left a note from the previous missionaries that I had shown a positive interest in discussing spiritual issues.  They wanted to know if I was still interested in talking.  I said absolutely and invited them in.  I asked them where they were from; one was from Utah near Salt Lake City and the other from Washington.  We then set-up a date to meet the following week and they left to talk to others.  As they walked away I praised God for providing such a timely visit.

By the 3rd meeting Dylan joined us.  We met many times and I would like to share what I’ve learned from these experiences and others. My objectives are to 1) Give you 5 principles or strategies, based on study and experience, for sharing with a Mormon, and 2) Give you resources that will help you in your preparation.

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Tom Wright October 21, 2010, 8:33 pm

    Steve;
    How does Mormonism diminish your church and its beliefs?
    It amazes me that this religion even exists, with all its historical contradictions and convenient “revelations” by its leaders, but does the bible authorize or suggest Christians spend efforts to “unmask deceptions” in other religions, or even other Protestant denominations?

  • Steve November 4, 2010, 6:51 pm

    Tom,
    It isn’t a matter of diministhing our church or our beliefs; it is a matter of where all Mormons will spend eternity. If I believe Mormons will follow Joseph Smith to an eternity in hell, then the most loving thing I can do is unmask the deception of Mormonism. I am commanded by Jesus to be His ambassador and show them the way to eternal life. Here are some Biblical verses that support our sharing with Mormons and others: Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV) “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Jesus talking to the disciples he said, Acts 1:8 (NIV) “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Paul writing about all believers in Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:20 (NIV) “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” Jesus commanded us to share the good news of forgiveness to all false religions and individuals who don’t believe in God.

  • Tom Wright November 6, 2010, 8:52 pm

    I understand now…..

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Do Objective Morals Exist?
Answering Tough Questions
Counting the Cost
Is God the Author of the Bible?
God’s Holiness and Love Wins
Ministering to Mormons in Utah
Challenging a Jehovah’s Witness
What Ever Happened to Hell?
Accurately Interpreting the Scriptures
Understanding the Christian Worldview
Accused of Partnering in Wickedness
Set Apart Christ as Lord
Sharing with Knowledge & Wisdom
Becoming a Good Ambassador for Christ
How to Persuade Others

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